A South Korean pastor has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for raping eight feminine followers of his mega-church.
Lee Jae-rock, 75, has about 130,000 followers on the Mamin Central Church in Seoul. He denied all the fees.
His victims had spoken of his “divine energy” and stated they felt compelled to do what he requested as a result of “he was God”.
Most South Korean Christians belong to mainstream church buildings which might accumulate enormous wealth and affect.
However there are a small quantity of fringe teams that have interaction in behaviour extra related to cults together with coercion, brainwashing and fraud.
Lee’s church is thought to be a splinter cult by some mainstream Christian organisations.
Lee arrange the Mamin Central Church in 1982 with solely 12 followers. It has now grown to what’s often called a mega-church, with its enormous headquarters and auditorium and an internet site with guarantees of miracles.
Earlier this 12 months, three of his followers got here ahead to say he had referred to as them to his condominium and compelled them to have intercourse.
“I used to be unable to show him down,” certainly one of them informed South Korean media on the time.
“He was greater than a king. He was God,” added the girl, who stated she had been a member of the church since she was a toddler.
In whole, eight girls filed prison complaints and he was arrested in Could.
The court docket discovered Lee molested and raped the victims “tens of instances” over a protracted interval.
“By means of his sermons the accused has not directly or immediately steered he’s the holy spirit, deifying himself,” decide Chung Moon-sung informed the Seoul Central District Court docket.
The victims believed him to be “a divine being who wields divine energy”, he stated.
Lee stood along with his eyes closed because the judgement was learn out.
His defence had alleged the ladies had been mendacity for revenge after they had been excommunicated for breaking the principles of the church.